Modesty Doesn’t Hide, It Reveals.
I used to think the intention of modesty was to hide your body; I was wrong. Modesty isn’t about hiding your body… it’s about revealing your character.
I tried to find a way around the intense wording in this next paragraph, but tiptoeing around “the R word” doesn’t change the fact that it happened. My first “intimate encounter” was rape. I was actually dating the guy; he was my first “real kiss”, my first make-out session, and really the first guy I had ever had any serious physical interaction with. After he did it, he told me it was my fault; he said I had turned him on and teased him for so long that he couldn’t help himself anymore. He proceeded to tell me that when men get turned on and don’t “get relief”, it’s extremely painful for them. I was young, naive, inexperienced… and so I believed him.
I fought this belief for years. I didn’t realize how deep the roots of that lie had grown. I started to believe that it was either A) my responsibility to make sure men around me were not turned on, or B) it was my responsibility to “take care of them” if I did something I knew would turn them on. Before anyone gets any crazy ideas, let me just say, most of the time I chose option A; I was fearful of turning men on. I dressed modestly, I didn’t dance with people, and if I went out, I primarily focused on playing the “mom” role within my group. However, there were some times that I chose option B – and, go figure, most of those times were also the times I chose to drink. And drink….a lot. I found myself in positions where I wanted to say “no”, but it got caught in my throat. I would say it once or twice and ask him to stop, but then fear and anxiety would take over and I would hear that voice in my head taunting me, saying “you’re a tease, you asked for this”.
It’s taken YEARS for me to truly believe in my heart that I do NOT have to feel guilty for refusing to give someone my body. If it comes to that point and the man is uncomfortable, I have one choice to make: whose body do I want to honor? Do I want to take care of him, or take care of myself? One of us, either way, is going to leave unhappy – but my body is the temple of the Lord! I choose NOT to violate that – for ANYONE! He is responsible for knowing his boundaries and protecting his body; and I am responsible for mine.
Where Is Your Value Found?
Imagine a beautiful woman going through life and being told every day, multiple times a day, that she’s beautiful. One day, someone stops and says to her: “I’ve noticed that you’re very intelligent”. Imagine the weight that compliment would carry. When people constantly affirm your outward beauty, but rarely acknowledge the depth of your character/ who you are on the inside, you begin to believe that’s where your identity lies. Getting recognized for your outward traits is certainly nice – and you shouldn’t have to choose one or the other – however, in the world we live in, often people become too distracted by the outward that they don’t get a chance to notice the inward. Maybe that’s their loss; but sometimes it’s nice to have a say in that decision – sometimes, it’s nice to get noticed for character first.
Much like the time it takes for a potter to take a lump of clay and mold it into a masterpiece, modesty allows us to steadily refine our character with minimal distractions until the masterpiece is ready for reveal.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:10
Modest Muscle. Revealing Excellence, highlight character.